The Legend of Hell House (1973)

90m (Germany), 94m (USA), 95m (UK)
35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
mono, English

A British horror film directed by John Hough.

Plot Summary

A team of four investigators is hired to study the notorious Hell House, the “Mount Everest of ” to either find proof of or dispel the myth of life after death. Schisms appear in the team straight away, particularly between the psychic Florence Tanner and the hard-nosed scientist Barrett and before long the quartet are starting to fall prey to the malign spirits that haunt Hell House.


Directed by: John Hough
© MCMLXXIII [1973] Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Academy Pictures Corporation presents a James H. Nicholson production. Produced by Academy Pictures Corporation. Released by Twentieth Century Fox
Executive Producer: James H. Nicholson
Produced by: Albert Fennell, Norman T. Herman
Screenplay by: Richard Matheson based on his novel Hell House
Director of Photography: Alan Hume
Editor: Geoffrey Foot
Music and Electronic Score by: Brian Hodgson, Delia Derbyshire of Electrophon Ltd.
Sound Recordists: Les Hammond, Bill Rowe
Wardrobe Mistress: Eileen Sullivan
Make Up: Linda Devetta
Hairdresser: Pat McDermott
Special Effects: Roy Whybrow
Photographic Effects: Tom Howard
Sets Designed by: Robert Jones
Made on location and at the EMI-MGM Elstree Studios, Boreham Wood, Hertfordshire, England

Pamela Franklin (Florence Tanner)
Roddy McDowall (Ben Fischer)
Clive Revill (Dr [Chris] Barrett)
Gayle Hunicutt as Ann Barrett
Roland Culver (Mr [Rudolph] Deutsch)
Peter Bowles (Hanley)
Michael Gough [Emeric Belasco – uncredited]

Cast Gallery

Alternative Titles

La Maison des damnes – French title

See also
Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992)
Scary Movie 2 (2001)


CinemaTV Today no.10048 (8 September 1973) p.16
A strong and eerily plausible story that gets off to an interest-arousing start and builds rapidly to a peak of suspense from which it seldom descends. John Hough avoids the obvious ploys of creepy music, thunder and lightning, and things going bump that are the traditional ways of creating a spooky atmosphere. His approach is more sober than is customary and he lures us into suspending our disbelief by treating psychic phenomena as perfectly normal occurrences in the lives of the principal characters. This gets us working for him and recalling occasions when we ourselves have had disquieting experiences. I'm not too sure of the logic of the melodramatic ending, but this didn't spoil my enjoyment of one of the most convincing ghost stories to survive the transition to the screen.” – from a review by Marjorie Bilbow


CinemaTV Today no.10004 (28 October 1972) p.17 – note (Hell House at Elstree)
CinemaTV Today no.10048 (8 September 1973) p.16 – credits, review (by Marjorie Bilbow)
Flesh and Blood no.3 pp.36-37 – credits, review

The Guardian 27 September 1973 – review (by Derek Malcolm)

The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.278 – illustrated credits, review
Elliot's Guide to Films on Video by John Elliot p.454 – credits, review
Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis 223-224 – credits
by Walt Lee p.254 – credits
Richard Matheson on Screen: A History of the Filmed Works by Matthew R. Bradley pp.177-184 – illustrated credits, review
Unsung Horrors by Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton (eds) pp.322-333 – illustrated review (by Jon Towlson)